“The Eagle” – a film about surviving domestic violence through the empowerment of yoga

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I was contacted today by Veronica of Odyssey Film, Ltd out of the UK. She found a link to my site as a result of the OM Yoga magazine story “Fighting Back” that featured a blurb about me and my book.

Odyssey Films, Ltd’s first film project, The Eagle, sets out to shine a light on surviving domestic violence through the empowerment of yoga. Odyssey Films is creating this short film to help raise awareness, not to make a profit:

Short films are completely non-profit, no money is made; we are doing this for the experience, we are doing this to lay a foundation to build our company; WE ARE DOING THIS BECAUSE WE LOVE IT.”

Please consider “liking” their page on Facebook and donating to their fund to see this project become a reality!

Silence the Sociopath – The World DESPERATELY Needs Your Passion

In the aftermath of sociopath abuse, you might sense that you continue to shy away from your passion. You might even be ashamed of your intensity.

This is normal, because after being demeaned and minimized by the sociopath for so long, we tend to be afraid of our own success and joy.

Why?

We keep hearing the words of the sociopath echoing in our heads:

“You really don’t think you can succeed at that, do you?”

“Others know more about that than you do.”

“You think you’re so smart, huh?”

“Wow, you think a little too highly of yourself, don’t you think?”

“You’ll give up.”

“That idea won’t get you very far. You should focus your time in something more practical.”

Repeatedly!! With every thought, idea, or endeavor you shared with the sociopath, the sociopath knocked you down. Being knocked down was expected and you soon stopped being creative and innovative.

You ceased to be alive!

But you’re living now. It’s time you start to deprogram yourself completely from the sociopath’s influence, because that piece of garbage is no longer standing next to you whispering defeating comments into your ear. He/she is no longer trying to sabotage your efforts with your family or your friends. That sociopath is no longer real…remember?

Beginning today, write down those passions. Share them with someone you love. Imagine your ideas coming to fruition…all by yourself!

You CAN do it. Whatever it is. You CAN stand alone if you have to for a bit. You do not need 100% acceptance and understanding from anyone but yourself.

When we start living again, some of the people in our lives who are more accustomed to us being reserved and reliant on them for support might react negatively to our sudden independence at first.

Don’t let that worry you. Simply explain to these people that you’re perfectly sane, you’re not delusional, you’re awake, and you’re more awake than you’ve been in a very long time.

The people who love you will be relieved and will celebrate with you. The people who never really gave a shit about you, outside of controlling you, will be uncomfortable with your new found freedom and will retreat. You may never see or talk to some of those people again.

That’s okay.

The emerging and refreshed you doesn’t have time to continuously explain yourself to those who aren’t interested in getting it.

Keep your light shining brightly. No more self-defeating thoughts. Replace all of the crappy things the sociopath projected your way with inspirational and mindful encouragement.

Encouragement. Simple, real, genuine encouragement unhindered by strings, expectations, or obligations.

Don’t fear being a little excited and eccentric. That excitement and eccentricity is exactly what our world needs today. ❤

Namaste!
~Paula

Love means possession to a sociopath

Love to a sociopath is about possession, personal gains, and benefits.

From sex and trophy spouses to community status and financial wealth, sociopaths are involved with others for material benefits, not to establish deep, fulfilling heart connections.

In romance, as long as the sociopath gets what the sociopath expects, needs, and desires, the sociopath will “love” you.

Once the sociopath has drained you of your worth and dignity, the sociopath will get bored and begin plotting an exit plan. Part of that plan is to make you, the one being discarded, look like the crazy and unstable one.

How do sociopaths do this?

Easily…they simply treat you as they’ve always thought of you…like you don’t matter. And you don’t matter as a human being to the sociopath. You never have, and you never will. You were simply a means to an end.

Once you can accept this and stop fighting against this insanity and stop begging to be treated like a human with a heart, you’ll be able to begin to heal and live again.

Reconciling this in our hearts and minds simultaneously seems impossible. But if we repeatedly remind ourselves that when we are dealing with someone who lacks a heart and a conscience, we can’t expect that person to respect our heart and our conscience.

How can we expect the sociopath to respect something in us that they’ve never felt or known in themselves?

Like insightful writers who write what they know, sociopaths behave based on what they know. And their knowledge is limited to what they know of themselves…and they are empty.

Namaste!
~Paula

Stick it out; don’t give up #healing #recovery #patience #sociopathabuse

The day I stepped onto a yoga mat for the first time I was a few months shy of my 40th birthday, suffering from depression, a lot of knee and joint pain, unknown post traumatic stress, and alcohol dependency.

Was I scared? Yes. I was scared shitless!

I didn’t know if I was going to hurt myself or help myself. I didn’t know if I was going to laugh or cry. I didn’t know if others were going to laugh at me or cry for me.

Nearly three years later, I am no longer depressed, I’ve been sober for 2 years, I laugh WITH myself, and I cry because sometimes it’s what I need. I’m no longer ashamed of my past mistakes or the abuse inflicted upon me. I’m no longer afraid to fail OR to succeed. The nightmares have stopped, and room was made to start my life over again from scratch–for me and for my family who never doubted me.

I realize now that the first step toward my current freedom was completely in my hands. The power to transform, grow, and heal was within me. Stepping onto that yoga mat back in October 2011 began my awakening.

But my awakening wasn’t instant. Nothing transformational is ever instant. We must work hard for it. With each practice, I learned to be more patient and more gentle with myself and to remain hopeful.

Despite occasional set backs and struggles, I stuck it out. I kept going back to the mat. I kept learning something new about myself and my abilities, both mental and physical.

I’m glad I stuck it out. I surely wouldn’t be in a place to write today if I had given up many yesterday’s ago.

If you’ve started on your transformational journey through yoga or some other practice that fits your needs, I want you to stick it out, too. Even when you don’t think there are changes happening, stick it out!! You rarely have the capacity to realize or appreciate the changes and transformations in the exact moments they occur. Life informs you days, weeks, or months later. So be patient. Stick it out.

And if you haven’t started, start today by telling yourself that you’re worth it and you deserve joy, peace, and a chance at an awakening and new beginning.

Namaste!
~Paula

“What the heck does she mean by MINDFUL, anyhow?”

I am in the middle of writing “Embracing Your Light: Mindful Healing and Recovery from Sociopath Abuse” and am defining the idea of mindfulness in hopes of dispelling any misinformation, prejudices, or negative connotations, so you’re not asking, “What in the heck does she mean by mindful, anyhow!?”

Below is mindfulness to me:

Mindfulness doesn’t mean you have to do yoga or meditate or eat tree bark.

Mindfulness simply means you live your life fully aware of yourself, your surroundings, and how you and your surroundings affect and impact each other.

Mindfulness is compassion for yourself and all living things surrounding you.

Mindfulness is not prescribing to any particular religion or faith. The faith required to be mindful is a faith in oneself.

Mindfulness is a state of being and knowing, knowing you are perfect in your imperfections. Mindfulness is accepting your imperfections and understanding that they are not permanent and do not define you.

Mindfulness is knowing that life is in a constant state of change and flux and that you are part of that change and flux.

You are who you are today. Tomorrow, you will be who you are tomorrow.

Accepting this and being patient in knowing is mindfulness.

Namaste!
~Paula

Integrative Health Tip #1: Healing from Pathological Abuse with Guided Metta Meditation

When we are struck by a sociopath, we are presented with the gift of knowing and experiencing the true dualities of life.

We appreciate love more, because we felt true hate. We appreciate beauty more, because we have experienced true ugliness.

We saw these things not only manifest in our abuser, but within ourselves as a result of being impacted by the sociopath. Once we are outside of the sociopath’s sphere of influence, we are empowered to focus on the good…the love and the light and the peace.

Have you ever tried guided metta meditation? As supplemental therapy for traditional counseling, medication, and mental health recovery services, many healthcare professionals are asking their patients to consider integrative healthcare options like nutrition coaching, acupuncture, yoga, and meditation. I have a playlist on Youtube. Consider video number 4 (above) on the list.

Peace is within us, and once we realize how to access it, our life becomes enveloped in it, protecting us from future sociopath/pathological influence.

Namaste!
~Paula XOXO

The biological, chemical, psychological, and societal factors that prevent victims from leaving their abusers

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Read my latest article at Communities Digital News:

Why Janel Rice and other domestic violence victims don’t leave

BETHESDA, Md., May 24, 2014 — Baltimore Raven’s player Ray Rice offered a public apology to his fans yesterday for knocking unconscious his then-fiancée and now-wife, Janay Rice, inside an Atlantic City casino elevator back in February 2014. Although the direct aftermath of the third-degree assault against Janay was caught on casino security cameras, Ray pled not guilty and will not face prosecution due to completing a pre-trial intervention program for first-time offenders.

Many question why Janay remains by the football player’s side. Some believe Janay is to blame for the attack against her and that she instigated the attack. Some claim Janay allegedly spit in the football player’s face, thus provoking him to assault her. Some feel disgust at her decision to marry him and support him during his damage-control press conferences. Many believe she is out for money and fame and that she is a gold digger. Why else would she marry him after the attack? Some have even suggested she likes being abused.

Victims of domestic violence and intimate partner abuse do not stay with or protect their abusers because they are gold diggers or because they are stupid or because they are masochists. Victims of abuse stay with their abusers due to biological, chemical, psychological, and societal factors. Continue reading…

Liars! Further Dissection of Pistorius’s Anxiety and PTSD Claims

Oscar throws a temper tantrum at the Paralympics, and an expert claims he did it because he suffers from General Anxiety Disorder (GAD)?

First, someone suffering from undiagnosed and untreated GAD would have a difficult time competing let alone losing a race.

Second, those who suffer GAD generally do not blame others for every mistake they make in life, and they certainly wouldn’t know to blame the possible source of their anxiety: their abusive parents. Oh, my!

Individuals suffering from GAD fail to act due to fear of failure and of being perceived as imperfect. Their anxiety is born from feeling like they are not good enough.

Oscar, on the contrary, believes he is very good. He is so good in his eyes that he once fought to be the exception to all the rules in the last summer Olympic games.

Did he care if other athletes considered his presence and “blades” to be an unfair advantage? Not at all. He did not have the capacity to respect the sound and scientific arguments against him competing. Instead, he was quoted as saying:

“I don’t see myself as disabled. There’s nothing I can’t do that able-bodied athletes can do.”

Despite his current claim that experiencing the trauma of having his fibulas removed at 11-months of age and of having a one-time alcoholic mother and controlling father who made him fearful of society, up until the day he murdered Reeva Steenkamp, all who knew Oscar and witnessed his behavior would have argued otherwise.

“I still find it strange when I say to someone, ‘Can you pass me my legs?’ But I don’t ever think about my disability,” Pistorius has claimed.

So which is it? Is Pistorius someone who, for years, has simply been fooling everyone into believing his disability didn’t have a negative effect on his life but actually made him superhuman for overcoming his loss of limbs? Or is Pistorius fooling us now in an attempt to elude justice for the gun-killing murder of Reeva Steenkamp?

If he were truly terrified that night, he would have simply reached over to touch the position on the bed where Reeva should have been. In a matter of seconds, he would have been assured that the noise he claimed to have heard was just Reeva and not an intruder. His fears and anxieties would have subsided. And as a GAD sufferer, this is exactly what he would have done, because, after years of experiencing debilitating and undiagnosed GAD, he would have trained himself to investigate the reasonable cause before reacting prematurely.

But this is not what poor, suffering Pistorius did that night. Instead, according to him, he reached for his gun (not for Reeva) and took more time to stumble over to the toilet door on his stumps, screaming to the person behind the door, “Get the fuck out of my house!”

Reeva surely would have heard that and responded with, “It’s just me Oscar. It’s Reeva.”

He didn’t even speak through the door, “Is that you Reeva? I’m scared. Is that you in the toilet?”

THAT is what someone with undiagnosed and untreated GAD would do, because people with GAD are frozen to respond to situations if there are uncertainties.

Only an arrogant and reactive sociopath would shoot first and ask questions later, because to a sociopath, all of their actions are justified.

And, no, you cannot claim that his trauma response would have been to fight. Why? Because in this situation, there was a door between Oscar and the presumed threat. A person experiencing trauma would hope the door remained intact to continue serving as a barrier. Shooting through the door decreases the door’s value as a barrier. Not only would holes render the door weaker, the chances that the presumed threat on the other side would use their weapon also increased.

Oscar knew the person on the other side of the door was Reeva. He knew she was unarmed. He knew his life was not in physical danger.

But Oscar was scared and terrified in those moments, because he feared his reputation was on the line. He was more than aware of Reeva’s interest in speaking out against domestic violence. Also, he was well-aware that her own reputation and public presence in the spotlight was on the threshold of taking off with her soon-to-be aired reality show and with her Valentine’s Day speech at a local school about domestic violence and intimate partner abuse.

He couldn’t have her breaking up with him. The timing was terrible! She could easily start pointing fingers at his abusive and manipulative nature. Oscar had to do something to shut her up, so he shot through the door, killed Reeva, and today claims it’s because of his childhood.

He wants the rest of us to see him as the real victim, a victim of his childhood and uncontrollable circumstances, while we are to feel nothing for the woman he killed.

Who does that? Childhood victims of trauma and abuse?

No. Real victims of trauma who commit heinous crimes and murder would ask to be punished. There would be no denial. There would be absolute blame and shame. There would be no pleas for understanding or pity. No victim would make such an outrageous claim that killing a loved one was a reasonable response to an unknown threat. Reasonable because 30 years ago your fibulas were amputated? What’s next? All circumcised boys who commit murder will claim trauma, too? (Get f%$#ing real!!)

Namaste!
~Paula

Cry with me

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I’ve cried a lot in my life. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve cried: for myself, for my sisters, for my parents, for my friends and even for people I don’t know.

I used to be extremely affected when I was accused of being too emotional.

(Go figure, right!? Haha!)

But now, understanding what I know about being a highly emotional person, I embrace my emotions…my tears, my joy, my anger and my frustrations.

I imagine most who come here are highly emotional, highly sensitive and deep feelers.

You’ve probably been called emotionally unstable a few times in your life, too.

I want you to know that this sadness you feel and the tears you cry are not indicative of some type of clinical depression, especially when these tears flood out of you in moments of quiet thought and pondering.

It’s normal and necessary for us to release our emotions. When we don’t, tension and stress build.

I know some may be skeptical of all my talk of yoga and meditation. But wouldn’t it be a blessing to be in a room with a bunch of highly emotional survivors who experienced what you’ve experienced? All of us meditating quietly and releasing those tears to make room for our joy?

I envision it quite often…We have smiles on our faces as the tears roll down our cheeks.

I don’t call that unstable. I call that being perfectly in tune with our emotions with the freedom to express them without shame or judgement.

Namaste!
~Paula

A pledge to yourself

Make a pledge to yourself:

“I Pledge that I will remain open to my healing and recovery process and that I won’t give up on myself no matter how often that voice inside my head tries to talk me into giving up.”

“I Pledge that I will remain faithful in my abilities to overcome any feelings of hopelessness and sadness and that I will reach out to a friend or loved one when I become overwhelmed.”

“I Pledge that I will celebrate my successes and never devalue or minimize my accomplishments and be confident and willing to give of myself only when it’s healthy to do so.”

“I Pledge that I will honor my life and my spirit and the lives and spirits of others who are walking beside me on this journey.”

Namaste!
~Paula

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